Review: Not Alone By Jenny Tomlin

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After writing two books of her own before moving to fiction, abuse survivor and author Jenny Tomlin interviewed other survivors she met before during and after the composition of her own story and has told their stories, and like the American book Strong At The Heart for teens, Not Alone features four male survival stories and the rest are from female survivors. I read the re-issued paperback which can be found for an average price of £2 when on special offer, balancing out the lack of male survival stories.

Unfortunately the book takes the smorgasbord approach and so there are fewer CSA stories than implied by the marketing of the book, there are also male and female domestic violence survivors and people who have experienced other forms of abuse such as stalking. Like Strong At The Heart there may be small elements of the varied stories that might be inspiring to your own healing process but it’s a double-edged sword to spread the focus too thinly in this manner, as it means that only a few chapters will feel relevant to you as a survivor of child abuse. There’s also one case where Tomlin fails to remove herself from what is supposed to be her friend’s account of their own history.

So this book is best borrowed from the library and treated as reference, unless you can find the reduced-price edition of the book which represents fair value for money for its scattergun approach.

Amazon UK Page (for newest edition) here

– CBG

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